Dare we dream?

Democratic Rep. John Murtha leads retired Army Lt. Col. William Russell by a little more than 4 percentage points, within the Susquehanna Poll’s 4.9-point margin of error. The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted for the Tribune-Review on Tuesday, amid uproar over Murtha’s statement that some of his constituents are racist.

Stanley Shemanski, 67, a retired meat cutter who lives in Apollo, said he’s undecided about the congressional race. He doesn’t know much about Russell, but he’s upset with Murtha’s comment that racism in the district could hurt Democrat Barack Obama’s chances.

“I didn’t like that at all. He shouldn’t have said it,” Shemanski said…

About 54 percent of voters among those polled say it’s time for someone else to represent them in Congress. About 35 percent say Murtha deserves to be re-elected…

“I’ll probably vote for (Russell) just to vote Murtha out,” said Mary Eileen Churchel, 58, of Washington. She added that she still doesn’t know much about the challenger, but thinks Murtha has been in office too long. Churchel, who plans to vote for Obama, said Murtha’s comment about racism was “the last straw for me.”

Russell’s actually outraised him by $400K but he has less cash on hand at the moment, so you know what to do. Who knows? If Happy Jack craters and Coleman can inch ahead of Stuart Smalley up in Minnesota, I might not even have to sedate myself for election night.

Here’s Russell’s new ad. Why he’s reminding people of how much money Murtha’s dumped into the district instead of hitting him again on the racism comments, which obviously have some traction, is beyond me.